“I used to pull my friends’ loose baby teeth as a child, and I started shadowing dentists at an early age,” Nelson said.
As a high school senior with a defined plan, Nelson was accepted into the UofL Early Admission to Dentistry Program (ULEAD). She completed her undergraduate degree in just three years, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and went on to complete the DMD program at the School of Dentistry.
Nelson is a first generation college student, and this helped motivate her academic achievement.
“My parents had family experiences that forced them to drop out of high school.” said Nelson. “They did a wonderful job of helping me understand that hard work pays off.”
She worked throughout her undergraduate and graduate studies, first as a daycare worker and eventually as a nanny while maintaining a rigorous course load. During her academic career, Nelson took part in several professional organizations including the Louisville American Student Dental Association and the American Dental Association. She was inducted into the national dental honor society Omicron Kappa Upsilon and Phi Kappa Psi.
¨The University of Louisville has provided me with many challenges,” Nelson said. “The faculty care about you, not just as a student but as a professional.”
Thanks to the support of UofL, Nelson has fulfilled her dream of becoming a general practice dentist, and hopes to use her education and determination to help shape the future of the profession.